The Church of the Ascension

in the City of New York
12 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10011

Dear People of Ascension,

As we come to the end of the church year, our lectionary turns to passages that remind us of the Advent theme of anticipation, and the mystery of "the day of the Lord", Christ's promised return at the end of the age to make all things new. These texts often address our early Christian forebears' concerns about what is taking so long (particularly because they are enduring hard things), and how to live in the meantime. One such text is this Sunday's reading from 1 Thessalonians.

I am struck by two images Paul uses in this passage. "The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night", and then, it will come "as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!" Of course, Paul is emphasizing surprise and suddenness- calling the Thessalonians to prepare for a day that is surely coming but whose timing is unknowable. But I wonder how these images speak to us, as we too live in such uncertain times. They speak of stealthy presence and unexpected loss, of laboring for new beginnings and the inevitability of change. 

What if God sneaks up on us? What do we most fear could be taken away- or suddenly brought into our lives? Do you feel excitement as well as anxiety as you imagine the divine trickster, the disrupter? 

How do you bring new life into the world? Do you sense a rhythm of breathing, resting, pushing? How do we endure suffering in order to collaborate with God in the wonder of birth?

Paul tells the Thessalonians to stay awake, pay attention and encourage one another whatever the season- slow waiting, hardship, peace or decisive action.

Since this is our season of stewardship, I invite you to think about how Ascension's community, worship and programs support you in these times of uncertainty and change, and how you are moved to support Ascension. What do you want to take care of, attend to, share with others? What are the deepest values and commitments you hold to and want to nurture with your time, talent and treasure? How is God surprising you, and what is laboring to be born?

I want our church to be an incubator of hope and trust, courage and love in these and all times. May we be good stewards of Ascension, and all that God has entrusted to us.



Services at Church of the Ascension

Regular Service Schedule

9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist (Side Altar)
11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist w/ Music
(Church & Livestream)
6:00 p.m. Meditation & Sacrament (Church)

6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist (Church)
Evening Prayer Every Weekday Evening
via Zoom
Join us each weeknight at 5:30
for Evening Prayer & discussion.

Click this link to join:
To call in (voice, no camera), dial 929-205-6099; the meeting ID is 770 597 201.
How to Watch Online


For our Ascension Forum on Livestream

Security Taskforce Presentation.

Last spring, a task force consisting of clergy, staff, parishioners and Voices of Ascension staff was convened to assess our current safety practices as they relate to medical emergencies, extreme weather, fires and active shooter situations. Sunday, after the 11 o'clock service a forum will be held in the Church to hear a report on their progress so far. Please join us to hear about changes that have already been made and to discuss this important and timely topic.

Coffee hour will be held following this presentation in the parish hall.

Join us for Coffee Hour

In the Parish Hall

after the service.

Prayers! Did you know you can submit your prayer requests online? Go to and type in your prayer request. Be sure to add them. Requests submitted by noon on Thursday will be included in the Sunday bulletin. (Any requests after that will be included in the following Sunday bulletin.)
A Prayer for Spiritual Communion

If you are attending any of our services online, we invite you to use this prayer at communion.

In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
Open Church Schedule
Open Church - Mondays through Fridays, Noon to 3pm. If you would like to volunteer for this ministry, please contact Gretchen Dumler or contact the church office ( or 212-254-8620.


Stewardship Ingathering This Sunday- This Sunday, November 19, we bless all the pledges made in support of Ascension for the next year. Thank you to all who have pledged! As we begin the budgeting process for 2024, we depend on your commitments in our planning. 

If you have not yet pledged, we hope you will prayerfully consider doing so. Pledge cards are available at the back of the church and in the parish office, and you can also pledge online at If you have questions about pledging, please speak to a member of the stewardship committee (Eric Achacoso, Elizabeth Adams, Peter Clark, and Rachel Sedor), one of the wardens, or the rector.

Again, thank you, people of Ascension, for your generosity and faithfulness!

A Time for Giving - In NYC last year 120,000 children were homeless. This does not include all of the migrant children NYC received in the past year. Most of these students do not have warm clothing to wear. Our Crafters Guild has made 132 items to donate to an elementary school in the East Village which has a large group of students who live in shelters. Now we have also been asked to donate to a high school in downtown Manhattan. Since the need for winter outerwear is great, we are asking for you to help us provide these children with hats, scarves or gloves. The age range of all these students is from 5-18 with high schoolers wearing adult sizes. We expect to collect donations through Christmas. So open your heart and make a child a little warmer this winter. If you can help, please bring your donation to the parish hall where it can be deposited into a large bin for distribution.

New York Haiti Project Bearing Fruit in Every Good Work! - From Fr. Sam Owen: Dear friends of Haiti, the school expansion in Martel is well underway. The foundation of the four-classroom building is nearly complete. We are grateful to those whose generosity is making this work possible. On October 14, the New York Haiti Project received a Sustainable Development Goals grant from the Global Mission Commission of the Diocese of New York. Click here to read the latest newsletter.

Only a Couple Slots Left! Ascension Advent Calendar returns- looking for photographers! For the last several years, our Advent practice at Ascension has included sharing a scripture and an image for every day of the season. There are still a few slots left! It's easy- let Mother Liz know you want to participate, and she will send you a scripture for one of the days in Advent. You then send back an image, not necessarily illustrating the text, but responding to it in some way. We will share the images on our social media every day from Sunday, December 3 (Advent 1) through December 25. It's a great- and simple- way to prayerfully prepare for Christ's coming! If you're in, please let Mother Liz know as soon as possible.

Call for Nominations - Five vestry members are to be elected at the Church of the Ascension annual meeting on January 28. If you wish to nominate someone, including yourself, please speak to a member of the nominating committee: David Lehmann, Elizabeth Adams, Vin Knight, or Isabel Spencer.

Episcopal Charities Tribute Dinner, Tuesday December 4- Episcopal Charities fundraising dinner for the outreach programs of the Diocese of New York is held in one of the most elegant dining rooms anywhere- the Cathedral of St. John the Divine! Ascension will once again have a table for ten. The full cost of tickets is $750, or $400 for young professionals (under 35). The church will pay up to $500 of full price tickets or $300 for young professionals, so those attending will pay $250 or $100. It's a fun evening for a great cause. If you want to attend, please speak to Mother Liz.

Resources for Helping in the Middle East

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls for an immediate ceasefire.

"You may know me as the pastor who is always talking about love, and I am. But today I am mindful that the urgency of love—true, sacrificial love that respects all of humanity—is not just a good feeling, and it is not easy. We are called to a love that demands much from us. We are called to a love that tells the truth. Today I raise my voice for love because more than 10,000 people have died in Gaza, including more than 4,000 children."

You can read his full letter here.

The Episcopal Public Policy Network also sent an action alert calling for a ceasefire. If you haven't already contacted your elected officials, here is a link to do so.

Bishop Andrew Dietsche, Bishop of New York, responds to the bombing of the Episcopal Hospital, Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. Bishop Dietsche had recently sent a letter to the diocese urging support for the hospital. After the bombing of the hospital, the need is even greater.

"We would suggest that this does not lessen the importance of contributing to their work, but increases it, as their work has never been more needed. We will know more about the damage to the hospital and loss of life in the days to come. The two most immediate Episcopal institutions doing the work of our church in the Holy Land are the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (through which one may give to support the Ahli Arab Hospital) and Episcopal Relief and Development."

To read the Bishop's full statement, click here.

Resources from The Episcopal Church:

The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations has a number of resources for taking action for peace in Israel and Gaza, supporting humanitarian aid efforts, and prayer and reflection regarding the war. They are updated periodically. You can find them here.

Support Church of the Ascension
Easy Way to Give & Support Church of the Ascension! Your generous gift is a meaningful way to support the mission and ministries of Church of the Ascension. Your contributions play a crucial role in maintaining the church's facilities, supporting religious education, organizing charitable initiatives, and supporting our sense of community. Use this QR code to make a one-time or recurring gift to the church... It's quick and easy. Your generosity and kindness are deeply appreciated!

Please note that to pay your pledge, please continue using Abundant (

The long-awaited repairs to the wood and brownstone of our Fifth Avenue tower are proceeding right on schedule and, unbelievably after all the years of studying and planning, the work is due to be generally finished by the winter. This means that payments to the architects and contractor are coming due, starting now. The Church of the Ascension is the recipient of a $300,000 matching grant from the Manton Foundation. The key word here is “matching.” And our generous donors have indeed pledged to match the grant. In general, the wardens and vestry requested pledges that could be paid in full by the first quarter 2024. Now would be a good time to start paying pledges. Remember, when you pay by check to put “Tower Brownstone” in the memo line. If you pay through Abundant, select Manton matching grant” from the drop-down menu. Finally, if you have not pledged, we hope you will consider a gift. The Manton match and pledge payments do not cover the entire cost of the job. With this work on the tower, our Fifth Avenue façade is gradually being restored to its 1841 look and our garden and entrance are becoming safer places to enjoy.

How You Can Help

Help our immigrant neighbors! The Judson Memorial Church Radical Hope Mutual Aid Center, a Monday refuge for migrants, is looking for small- and medium-sized men’s jeans, sweats, long-sleeved t-shirts, and zip-up jackets (but not pea coats). (The men go to places where day-laborers gather for work, and the kind of work for which they are hired needs shorter jackets.) Drop-off at 243 Thompson St. 9-5 (ring the doorbell) or leave in the basket in our parish hall. Thanks for your help!

This Week at Ascension

Sunday – November 19

Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist w/ Music; (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.

In person and online (

Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service

Ascension Forum (Church & Live Stream) after 11:00 service

Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Monday – November 20

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Lectionary Bible Study (Zoom) 6:30 p.m. (for more information, contact Sybil at

Tuesday – November 21

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday – November 22

Church open for prayer & meditation; Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Holy Eucharist (Church) 6:00 p.m.

Thursday – November 23 – Thanksgiving Day

Church and Parish Offices closed for Thanksgiving

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Friday – November 24 – Thanksgiving Holiday

Church and Parish Offices closed for Thanksgiving

Evening Prayer (Zoom) 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – November 25

The Food Pantry operates on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. For assistance or to volunteer, please contact Fr. Ed (fatherchinery or Amy Shaw (

Sunday – November 26 – Christ the King

Holy Eucharist (Church) 9:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist w/ Music; (Church & Live Stream) 11:00 a.m.

In person and online (

Join us for Coffee Hour following the Service

Ascension Forum (Hybrid) after 11:00 service

Meditation & Sacrament (Church) 6:00 p.m.

In this time of seasonal weather changes, as happens every year, we are all becoming more mindful of even small changes in how we feel. As such, we ask that you give careful consideration to public health best-practices. And in light of the increase in Covid infection rates, please feel free to use a mask when you attend worship services, particularly if you could be considered at higher risk of infection.

If you have any question, or need assistance of any kind, please don’t hesitate to contact the parish office or your clergy members. Remember, we’re better together! Because together we can and do make a difference!

If you need information to connect to one of our Zoom events please call the church office at 212-254-8620 or email us at
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